Why I hate Social Media
Last year, when lockdown began, I deleted all social media off my phone. There was just a lot of noise, and with every country handling the pandemic differently, and there was major FOMO as well. While I was being responsible and staying at home, I had friends meeting up or quanantining with each other and having a great time.
At a certain point, social media was just not helpful in anyway. Watching other people, both that I know and do not know having fun or bitching about being in quarantine like we all were. Social media became a place filled with negativity, and rather connecting me to people, it was just making me mad at people for no reason.
So, I decided to delete all social media off my phone until lockdown was over. At the time, I was thinking that this whole COVID-19 thing would be done within 6 months. Boy was I wrong.
There was no longer any Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook on my phone (I wasn’t a big fan of Twitter anyway) and I logged out of all of them on my other devices so I was as disconnected as I possibly could be. The only app that I kept was Facebook Messenger so that I was able to text a few friends every now and then. I figured that everyone in my life who is important to me, I have their phone number, so I don’t need to have all the other apps to stay in touch with them.
After a couple of days, I was already feeling so much better, but I was bored. So, I had to find something to do in order to fill up the hours of scrolling and tapping needlessly on my phone. This is where I found the unexpected benefits from social media.
I deleted social media with the goal to get away from all the noise, and in turn, I will be happier. But, because I needed to fill in the time, I started to read more and fell in love with many books about self-development and growth. In addition, I started learning about investing and other methods of making money, one of them being writing on Medium. While I started Medium as a way to make more money, I found out that I really enjoy writing about a multitude of topics and wanted to get better and better at conveying a story.
This isn’t to say every single hour that I wasted on social media was replaced with productivity. I would still watch lots of Netflix and play video games, but none of the healthy habits that I started to develop wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t delete social media off my phone.
Clearly, by deleting social media off my phone, I was a much happier person. I decided to delete my Snapchat last summer, my personal Instagram only a few months ago and planning on deleting my Facebook very soon.
I still have my photography account which I use to grow as a photographer. While I find social media a toxic place, it is still extremely useful and is a place to learn and grow as a freelancer. However, I try to minimize my time on Instagram and try to have the best of both worlds. I use Planoly, a service that allows my to schedule my posts so that I don’t always have to log in, put the post up myself and risk getting distracted.
Its funny though. Its been about a year or so since I deleted social media, and the times that I do find myself on Instagram, I get bored within an hour. Previously, I could spend 2–3 hours scrolling, searching, looking for memes. However, I would scroll, like, maybe leave a comment and that is about it. So, my screen time has gone from hours to less than 30 minutes.
The intent of social media is to connect people. While the goal in seemingly harmless, I found it to be harmful in someways and realized that it was not worth my time. I am much happier not knowing about which celebrity is with who or not knowing which one of my friends from middle school who I don’t talk to anymore is in whatever country partying. By not knowing what others were doing constantly, I spent more time on myself and where I want to be in the future.